Middle East latest: Hamas releases hostage video; Hezbollah dismisses 'worthless' Israeli claims on commanders killed (2024)

Key points
  • Hamas releases video of hostage in Gaza
  • Hezbollah dismisses 'worthless' Israeli claims on commanders killed
  • IDF 'poised to launch offensive' on Gaza city of Rafah
  • Israel 'hits 40 Hezbollah targets' in Lebanon
  • The big picture:What you need to know about the conflict in the Middle East right now
  • Listen to the Sky News Daily above andtap hereto follow wherever you get your podcasts


We're pausing our coverage

We'll be back tomorrow with more updates on the Israel-Hamas war.


Houthis 'continue to prevent Israeli navigation in Red and Arabian Seas'

We reported earlier that the Houthis had attacked what they said were two American ships and an Israeli vessel (see post at 8.44pm).

Now, we are receiving more information on this.

The Iran-aligned group said it targeted the US ship Maersk Yorktown, an American destroyer in the Gulf of Aden and Israeli ship MSC Veracruz in the Indian Ocean.

The spokesman Yahya Sarea said: "The Yemeni armed forces confirm they will continue to prevent Israeli navigation or any navigation heading to the ports of occupied Palestine in the Red and Arabian Seas, as well as in the Indian Ocean."

Separately, British maritime security firm Ambrey said that it was aware of an incident southwest of the port city of Aden, an area where the Houthis often target ships they say are linked to Israel or the US.


White House official expected to travel to Saudi Arabia

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has said he expects to travel to Saudi Arabia in the next few weeks after postponing the trip due to a cracked rib.

Mr Sullivan told reporters he was feeling much better after the rib injury and that he was about 80% recovered.

He is to discuss with Saudi officials whether a deal to normalise relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia can be reached.


Eyewitness: Inside an underground hospital in Jerusalem

By Dominic Waghorn, international affairs editor

Deep below Jerusalem, Israeli doctors are preparing for the worst.

Sky News has been given exclusive access to an underground hospital where they are expanding capacity in case the current conflict becomes much worse.

In a bunker below the Herzog Medical Centre the number of beds has been increased to 350 with 100 on the way.

"Because it's built to withstand both biological and chemical attacks," Dr Yehezkel Caine told Sky News as we entered the complex.

"We have an airlock which is built of two separate sets of blast doors."

Beyond they have installed a whole new level of wards below the existing underground hospital, ripping out a logistics floor and installing more beds and equipment.

The bunkers would be activated should other hospitals closer to the front need evacuating. They are planning for worst case scenarios here like an all out war with Hezbollah.

"The hospitals in the north will be overwhelmed with casualties and they themselves will come under fire in which case they would have to evacuate their patients to the centre of the country, the same as we did in the first weeks of the war in the south," Dr Caine said.

Dr Caine and his staff know that after 7 October and the attack by Iran everything has changed for the people of Israel.

He said: "For the civilian population since the war of independence we've never been in a situation where the threat to the civilian population has been as great."

Above ground the Herzog Medical Centre continues with its peacetime specialisms.

It has Israel's largest ventilator unit, treating adults and children, but also excels in psycho trauma treatment and geriatric rehabilitation.

Many of those suffering PTSD from the trauma in this conflict are treated here.

If Jerusalem itself is attacked the hospital can evacuate even the most vulnerable to the bunkers below in just a few hours. The bunkers can be entirely sealed off for 96 hours in what's called a Noah's Ark procedure.

The Herzog drills its staff regularly, preparing for a reality its hope will never come.

But events on the northern border are looking ominous.

Israel has launched one of its biggest bombardments yet of Hezbollah after multiple shelling of northern Israeli communities.

The lower level war continues with the ever present danger of escalation into something much bigger.

If it comes, doctors in Jerusalem's biggest underground hospital say they'll be ready.


Houthis target American warship in Gulf of Aden

The Houthis have said they targeted an American warship destroyer in the Gulf of Aden today.

In a televised speech, the Iran-aligned group's military spokesman Yahya Sarea said the Maersk Yorktown container had also been targeted.

They also claimed they had targeted the Israeli ship MSC Veracruz in the Indian Ocean.


'We love you, stay strong, survive': Parents of hostage push for efforts to reunite them with their son

The parents of Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin have called on leaders to "get a deal done" and bring back the hostages, as they asked their son to "stay strong and survive".

In response to the video released today by Hamas of their son, Rachel Goldberg-Polin and Jon Polin, said seeing the video of Hersh today was "overwhelming".

Mr Polin said: "We are relieved to see him alive but we are also concerned about his health and wellbeing as well as that of all the other hostages and all of those suffering in this region.

"We are here today with a plea, to all of the leaders of the parties that have been negotiating to date - that includes Qatar, Egypt, the US, Hamas and Israel.

"Be brave, lean in, seize this moment and get a deal done to reunite all of us with our loved ones and to end the suffering in this region."

Speaking directly to Hersh, his mother said: "If you can hear this, we heard your voice today for first time in 201 days and if you can hear us I am telling you, we are telling you, we love you, stay strong, survive."


Israeli officials visit Egypt to discuss Rafah operation

The Israeli army's chief-of-staff and the head of one of Israel's intelligence agencies visited Cairo to discuss its planned ground operation in Rafah, according to the Axios news website.

Three senior Israeli officials told the outlet that Herzl Halevi and Shin Bet's director Ronen Bar met with Egyptian officials, who are concerned an operation would lead to tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians fleeing into their territory.

Egypt has repeatedly warned Israel against an operation in Rafah, with which it shares a border and where more than a million Palestinians have been displaced to.

An Israeli government spokesperson said earlier today Israel will move ahead with its planned ground operation in the city (see post at 2pm).


US pressing Israel on mass graves and says reports on push to legalise West Bank settlements 'dangerous'

The US State Department has called "dangerous and reckless" the reports thatIsrael is pushing tolegalise dozens of settler outposts in the Israeli-occupied WestBank.

Speaking at a daily press briefing, deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel also said Washington was continuing to press the government of Israel for more information on reports of mass graves in Gaza.

Explained: Earlier this week, reports emerged that Israel's finance minister Bezalel Smotrich was pushing to begin the process of legalising outposts in the West Bank.

Mr Smotrich sent instructions to several ministries telling them to begin preparations, the Times of Israel reported, citing Israel's Channel 12 News.

Reports have also emerged of mass graves discovered in the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza. The IDF said the claim that troops buried Palestinian bodies was "baseless and unfounded".


Hamas releases video of hostage in Gaza

Hamas has posted a video showing an Israeli-American hostage on its Telegram account.

The short video, which is undated, purportedly shows Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was captured by Hamas at the Nova music festival during the 7 October attacks, alive.

It shows the 23-year-old, who is from California, missing his lower arm, which was blown off during the attack.

Speaking under duress while in captivity, Mr Goldberg-Polin says he is in "underground hell" and without the treatment he has needed.

"Benjamin Netanyahu and his government should be ashamed of yourselves because you neglected us along with thousands of other citizens," he says, urging the Israeli prime minister to resign after "rejecting" deals to release the hostages.

Every day the hostages are in Gaza they are ignored "more and more", he says.

"You ignore our blood... Do what is expected of you and bring us home immediately, or has this become too big for you?"


House shelled in central Gaza, PRCS says

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has released footage of plumes of smoke rising into the air after a house was reportedly shelled.

The shelling took place in Deir al Balah, in central Gaza.

After weeks of relative calm, Israel intensified its attacks overnight on Monday, focusing on areas - particularly in the north - from where it had previously withdrawn troops.

Middle East latest: Hamas releases hostage video; Hezbollah dismisses 'worthless' Israeli claims on commanders killed (2024)
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